Airbnb vs Vrbo

We compare the holiday rentals from Airbnb and Vrbo, including the deals, locations, properties and more.

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When looking for holiday rental accommodation, Airbnb is far from the only option these days. This can make it difficult to decide which rental company can give you the best deal next time you travel.

So to cull any confusion and set you on the right path, we've compared Vrbo and Airbnb to see how they stack up on everything from locations to properties to safety to deals.

Airbnb vs Vrbo

Where are its hotels/stays?Airbnb operates in 81,000 cities across 191 countries.Vrbo lists 265,000+ properties in 100 countries.Airbnb has stays in more countries.
Is it safe?Yes. Both hosts and guests are vetted and monitored, and payments are secure. Hosts and guests can evaluate one another through feedback.Yes. Owners and listings are vetted and monitored and reviews give you insight into previous guests' experiences. Payments are secure.Airbnb and Vrbo are both very safe. Nevertheless, you should always watch for suspicious behaviour and put your safety first.
Is there free breakfast?Hosts can choose to include free breakfast.Some listings, such as bed and breakfasts, provide free breakfast.Both have listings that offer free breakfast.
Is there a loyalty programme?No.No.Neither company has a loyalty programme.
Is it partnered with anyone?No.Vrbo is part of the HomeAway family brands, which itself is part of the Expedia family. Vrbo has strong connections to its sister brands.Vrbo has strong connections within its brand family.
Is there free Wi-Fi?Most properties have free Wi-Fi available.Most properties offer free Wi-Fi.Airbnb and Vrbo listings typically have free Wi-Fi.
Are stays pet-friendly?Some listings are pet-friendly; this will be mentioned in the description.Vrbo has more than 25,000 pet-friendly properties.Both companies offer pet-friendly accommodation.
Are stays family-friendly?Airbnb includes many family-friendly listings. Potential hazards for children are outlined in the property description.Most Vrbo properties are family-friendly. Some include amenities such as cots and high chairs.Both companies have many family-friendly listings.
Is there online chat?No.No.Neither has online chat.
What are my payment options?
  • Credit card
  • Debit card
  • PayPal
Payment options vary, but typically include:
  • Credit card
  • Debit card
  • Direct debit
Airbnb has more consistent payment options.
Are there gift cards?Yes.No.Airbnb gift cards are available.
Are there service fees?Yes, for most listings.Yes. The service fee is usually 6-12% of the total cost.Both charge service fees.
Is there an age limit?Age limits are very uncommon and imposed at the host’s discretion.Most listings do not have an age limit, although hosts can set a limit if they so choose.Typically, neither has an age limit.
Is there a deposit?Yes. Payments are processed when the booking is approved.Yes. Payment is taken as soon as the booking is confirmed.Both require a deposit.
Does it allow for long-term rentals?Some properties accept long-term rentals, which take payments on a monthly basis.Some listings state in their description that they accept long-term rentals.Long-term rentals are accepted by some listings on Airbnb and Vrbo.
Do hosts provide towels and shampoo?Hosts provide towels and shampoo if they so choose.Some hosts choose to provide towels and shampoo.Both companies allow hosts to choose whether to supply towels and shampoo.
Will the host be there?This depends on the accommodation arrangements. If you book a whole property, you will have it to yourself, although your host will usually welcome you upon arrival.Your host will usually welcome you upon arrival, then leave. However, this depends on the type of accommodation and any prior agreements between you and the host.The host’s presence varies from listing to listing. Vrbo offers more stays that are completely private.
Can I price match?No.No.Neither company will price match.
Does it allow for cancellations or changes?Yes. Fees may apply. Refunds may be available.Yes. Cancellation policies are largely determined by the host, so there is a lot of variation.Both companies allow for cancellation and changes, although policies vary.
Does it have smoking rooms?Some properties have smoking rooms.Smoking rooms are available in some properties.Airbnb and Vrbo both have a select number of listings offering smoking rooms.
BookBook your stay through AirbnbBook your stay through Vrbo-

Who offers the best price?

It's rare to find the exact same stay on both Airbnb and Vrbo and both homestay companies offer a wide variety of options to suit your budget, travel style and group size.

So, to find the best answer to who offers the best price, we compared two-bed apartments in similar locations on the Gold Coast, near SkyPoint Observation deck, available on the same day.

The verdict?

Even though prices are dictated by the host, we found very similar prices with Airbnb offering a modern apartment for $244 (or $122 per night) while Vrbo was offering its apartment for $126 per night. It's a close call and it could be the finer details of each listing that will win your business.

Any other differences worth noting?

A major difference between Airbnb and Vrbo is the accommodation options. While Vrbo has an excellent range of homes, traditional holiday rentals, lake houses and cabins, Airbnb listings can range from campsites to penthouses, and properties are often shared with the host or other guests. This makes it especially important to read the listing carefully before booking so that you know what you’re getting in terms of sleeping arrangements, space sharing and amenities.

To counter this, Vrbo is part of a larger network of homestay brands, including HomeAway, Stayz, and more which opens up more possibilities worldwide.

Another difference is Airbnb’s additional services. These consist of Airbnb Experiences, which allows locals to sell experiences to visitors, Airbnb Restaurants, which lets you browse and book the top restaurants in your location, and Airbnb Plus, which offers upmarket, quality verified accommodation.

Are there deals?

Deals on Airbnb are created and managed by property hosts. Hosts can set discounts for certain dates, or take a percentage off the overall rate. Long-term rental discounts and service fee discounts are also on offer. Unfortunately, there’s no way to browse current deals.

Vrbo also allows property hosts to set and manage special offers for certain dates and trip lengths. Like Airbnb, Vrbo does not have a special deals page or search filter.

The verdict?

Airbnb andVrbo both have very similar deals systems, allowing hosts to manage discounts for their listings and offering no simple means of browsing current deals.

Top Airbnb and Vrbo deals:

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